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October has come to be the deadline for every LSx racer in the country, and even some in Canada, to get their combination together and (hopefully) tested in anticipation of the GM Performance Parts LSX Shootout. This year was no exception; Tom Kempf was among many who thrashed right up until the last minute to get their car in racing shape and down to Gateway International Raceway, October 7-10. One Real Street competitor, Adam Preston (remember this name), actually had to drive all the way back (through the night) to Kentucky to grab a class legal front end for his Camaro in time for qualifying the next morning. Similarly, East Coast Supercharging was welding up one of (customer) Jay McCardle's cylinder heads just in time for the True Street cruise Saturday morning. All the effort, though, was certainly worth it to be a part of one of the best LSx races of all time at one of the best facilities in the country. As you'll read later in this story, records were broken and history was made.
TREMEC LSX True Street
With Doug Ring's C5 convertible back at the East Coast Supercharging shop awaiting its new bullet, there would be no repeat from last year. This instantly put David Childress, aka Mighty Mouse, and his turbo Trans Am as the favorite in True Street. However, ECS didn't show up to the party empty handed, as Jay McCardle would be defending their honor with a similar Paxton-blown combo. Any frequenters of LS1Tech will also know that this wasn't the whole story. Ray Litz, aka KoolRayz, has been running on all cylinders with his Ron Shearer-built turbo system as well. With all three cars capable of mid to low 8s, it was definitely a three-horse race, but keep in mind that it is True Street - with a 30-mile cruise and three back-to-back runs to make with a strict closed-hood policy - anything can happen.
GMHTP Fastest Fifth-Gen
The big boys certainly came to play for GMHTP's Fastest Fifth-Gen title, every one running in the 9-second zone. The four-car field included Late Model Racecraft's F-1R blown 427 LSX, now equipped with a Turbo 400 to hopefully reclaim their record, not to mention two stellar Lingenfelter cars, including the LS9 shop car that recently eclipsed LMR's time and was looking to do it again-live and in person. Not to be forgotten, ARD's silver nitrous car was into the single digits as well. Owen Priest still had a bitter taste from last year's unfortunate axle explosion, which took him out of the running. His big cube nitrous combo should have enough snot to get the heavy pig off the line quicker than his competitors, but it was really anyone's game in this tight field.
LSX Real Street
The LSX Shootout welcomed a brand new class this year, known officially as Real Street. Unofficially, Real Street might as well be called "the ultimate single power adder small tire wheelie shootout" as it brought out some of the quickest, fastest and wildest GM cars running on true 10.5-inch tires or 275 drag radials. Initially billed as a "nitrous friendly" class, with no jet restrictions and weights as low as 3000-lbs, many competitors showed up with other combinations, including several turbo powered entries (limited to 76 mm) and even a couple of supercharged cars.
With seven cars making the initial field, the racing was tight in every round; including the spot for number 1 qualifier, which was decided by just .002-seconds. The crowd in St. Louis also got to see some of the best LSX wheel stands in years, with a couple of racers letting it all hang out, including one Trans Am that needed a new oil pan, transmission pan, exhaust and K-member after a wild bumper stand that won't soon be forgotten. So, if you enjoy heads up small tire racing with wild wheelstands and unpredictable wins, this is the class for you.
ERL Performance lsx All Motor
While car counts are typically low in All Motor, the 2010 event had a record seven entrants with varying body styles. Before the race, the rumor mill was abuzz with several new combinations, a few of which never made it, but we hope to see in 2011. One of which, that did, was David Lazear's 468cid LSX powerplant, topped by Mozez canted valve heads, Beck sheetmetal intake and a dual throttle body setup. His silver '98 Camaro ("The Silver Bullet," September '10) was outfitted with a fresh bullet at the eleventh hour, enlisting the help of Late Model Racecraft. If he could get the new setup dialed-in, there very well could have been a rematch of last year's race versus his former teacher, Judson Massingill of the School of Automotive Machinists. Chris Fowler, another SAM grad, was also looking for a rematch from two years ago with his 440-powered '90 Camaro. And of course Canadian John Ventresca was back again with his flamed '99 Camaro, this time with a fresh set of heads that would put him in the running.
JE Pistons LSX Drag Radial
If there is one class that never disappoints, it's LSX Drag Radial. With combinations pushing over 2000 hp on traditional drag radial tires, the racing is always unpredictable and insane. This year, we saw several brand new entries into the field, including Tom Kempf's new racecar, "The Money Shot," which put up a couple of 7-second passes fresh out of the Stenod Performance garage. Fans in St. Louis were also on hand to witness Mark Carlyle's C6 Z06 go rounds in Drag Radial, setting the new C5/C6 record for low e.t and Top Speed (and GMPP's Fastest LSX Corvette title in the process). Of course, Drag Radial also brought out several familiar faces, including Mike Brown and Mark Koehler from the Ohio Boys camp, both of whom, unfortunately, struggled all weekend, with problems ranging from torque converters to pistons. Nevertheless, every round in drag radial was one to remember and with every year, the field creeps closer to that infamous 6-second mark.